Yesterday Lionsgate officially announced that Francis Lawrence will directing The Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. The director of I Am Legend and Constantine was offered the job a few weeks ago, and it is now official that he will be taking charge.
The news comes after The Hunger Games director Gary Ross said he would not be returning, and with star Jennifer Lawrence on a tight schedule as she is due to film the sequel to X-Men: First Class in January, Lionsgate had to find a director quick. Many names were suggested, including David Cronenberg and Alfonso Cuaran, but it would seem that Lawrence is the man for the job.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to bring “Catching Fire,” the second chapter of Suzanne’s beloved trilogy, to the big screen,” Said Francis. “I fell in love with the characters, the themes and the world she created and this chapter opens all of these elements up in such a thrilling, emotional and surprising way. I can’t wait to dive right into it and bring this chapter to life along with the truly superb cast and filmmakers involved.”
Filming is expected to begin in Autumn, with a planned release date of 22nd November 2013.
Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will all reprise their roles of Katniss, Peeta and Gale, and also returning will be Woody Harreslson, Lenny Kravitz, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks and Toby Jones. Simon Beaufoy wrote the screenplay based on Suzanne Collins’ novel.
More on this as it develops.
By Matt Wavish